As I write this co-moderator’s letter, the sun is shining and the temperature is warm, almost feels like Spring. These harbingers of Spring brings with them feelings of joy and anticipation. The happenings at church lately bring about that same joyous feelings of excitement. There is continuous energy at church within the teams, with the recent and the upcoming programs which have been well attended by our members and No. Berkshire community to our community hall.
The recent “Reviving our Hearts for Justice” was a perfect example of a gathering which brought the community into our church to join with our members for a rocking, meaningful event. There was Williams Gospel choir and choral group, MCLA poets and dance expressionist, inspiring messages from Williams chaplains (our own Rick Spaulding even broke a flower pot to emphasize his message of needing to come together) and moments of solemn reflection from our Pastor Mark Longhurst. Several community leaders spoke of their concerns about social justice and need to be watchful and reach out to those who are in need of compassion and help. The night ended with loud singing, foot stomping, hands waving as we sang several popular spirituals and songs of comfort and inspiration.
Other recent events which support these themes of social justice have been the potluck dinner fundraiser for the Berkshire Immigrant Center, and the Mardi Gras Pancake Brunch to support the Williamstown Food Pantry.
Within our church community in February we gathered for a second hour event to reflect on the experiences of the January 21st Women’s March. Several of our adventurous women who went to Pittsfield’s Colonial Theater, Boston and Washington Marches spoke about these gatherings and what this involvement meant to them. There were even pictures projected to highlight the events.
We have some exciting upcoming activities which will give us opportunities during the small Lenten groups to reflect and discuss present day issues in context with biblical references; and another musical event will encourage community members to join us for a Messiah (part 2) sing as part of our worship service. This should be a very exciting opportunity to have another new experience with a worship service.
Ministry teams have regrouped after the annual meeting with new members and renewed energy. Katherine and I have felt this excitement and commitment to take on special issues and programs such as immigration, social justice and declaration of conscience; creating new programs and activities for our upcoming high-schoolers, creating educationally stimulating second hour programs; and developing new worship service events which will draw in new families and community members. We will finally start the renovation work of our kitchen to make it a place where we can prepare food/meal events more efficiently and with a new dishwasher which will make clean up easier. This room will finally complement our Community Hall renovation and encourage community groups to consider renting these spaces (weddings, banquets, dinners, parties and dances?)
Katherine and I are excited about all these happenings which bring joy and anticipation and brings me back to this sunny days and feelings of coming Spring.